Back in 2019 the government pledged £2.7bn for six new hospitals across England. The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex was one of those chosen to be upgraded, and for this major project the architects have been asked to include more ‘modern methods of construction’ (MMC) in the scheme.
The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust wants the architects Gilling Dod and CF Moller to ‘maximise the benefits’ of offsite construction.
MMC is viewed by the government as the best way to construct quickly, safely and cost-effectively. Pre-fabricated sections of an MMC building are brought to the site with many elements such as insulation, wall panels and window frames already assembled in a factory. At a time when skilled building site labour is in short supply, it is widely felt that MMC overcomes many of the hold-ups seen in traditional construction.
Gilling Dod Architects is the main architect on the project, with Danish practice CF Moller drafted in last year to work with the original team and “act as a second eye and critical friend”. Architects Bryden Wood have also been brought in by the hospital’s Trust to advise on modern methods of construction.
Meanwhile in June this year, Andrew Panniker, the man who led the construction of the temporary Covid-19 hospital at London ExCel, was drafted in to provide advice on the construction of the Princess Alexandra.
The TP Group has been involved in many projects in the healthcare sector, and we understand the need for as much expert advice as possible to bring a major scheme like this to fruition, and meet patient needs without delay.
When we executed a fire upgrade at the Wittington Hospital in north London, we installed passive fire protection and conducted surveys of existing fire stopping – carrying out work while causing minimal disruption to medical staff and patients.
In this sector the goal is to provide first-class healthcare facilities in a totally safe working environment. With MMC also coming into play, it will be fascinating to see the ground-breaking Princess Alexandra Hospital scheme take shape.
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